10th May 2009
The Empty Shops Revival Plan is a new Government initiative to temporarily convert empty shops into social enterprises, local art displays, or learning centres to help innovative communities prevent high streets declining. The plan was recently set out by Secretary of Communities Hazel Blears in the link below:
We Create* is trying to set up retail premises in the Midlands to incubate local young fashion designers in and to sell its participants designs. The organisation has a collective of local young designers ready, participants designs to retail, volunteers to help renovate, set up, and run the shop, and the resources to set up the premises.
Unfortunately it does not have the capital to rent a unit initially - We Create* hopes to gain a free unit in a city centre for 6 months, under the new Government initiative, that will allow the organisation to run its social enterprise from and build up the finances to open up more incubation units on the high street that can become self sustainable.
For the last year 3/4 months the organisation has been speaking to local councils based around the Midlands about occupying units unoccupied for years rent free for 6 month to help We Create* develop its outreach, social impact, and network within the local community - its been hard.
We're glad that national Government sees the opportunity to open-up and use redundant spaces on the high street for the good of the community and hope the new Empty Shops Revival Plan will filter down to local Government a-sap to help us gain a retail unit in the vv.near future.
Many Thanks and Kind Regards